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National Check the Chip Day Aug. 15: Protect your four-legged buddy

Aug 15, 2013 | Read More News
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It can be very, very frightening when you lose a pet. A frantic search of the house and the back yard yields Nonenothing. The neighbors may or may not have seen the little vagabond escape. And now all you can think about is whether he will be safe – and whether he’ll find his way back somehow.

Locally, too many strays never go back home.

Pima Animal Care Center picked up nearly 17,000 strays throughout the community in fiscal year 2012-2013. Of those, roughly 1,500 were returned to their owners.

Our shelter right now has 259 pets needing homes, many of them initially strays. That’s great news for those in the market for a new family member - but overcrowded conditions are not great news for the pets who just want to have a home. We must do better as a community.

In celebration of National Check the Chip Day, Pima Animal Care Center would like to share the message that you can protect your pet by making sure he is licensed and microchipped. Every animal that is adopted from Pima Animal Care Center goes home with a microchip, which is a tiny implant inserted between the shoulder blades. The process is part of the adoption fee, along with vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery, if needed. Dogs also leave with a new license.

That two-pronged safety net is the best way for us to make sure we can get your pets back where they belong.

Although Pima Animal Care Center urges residents to be cautious when rescuing stray, unfamiliar animals, microchips can come in handy when regular citizens find a dog. Pet outlets, such as some retail stores and veterinary clinics, often have scanning equipment and can help read the chip to find out if the pet is registered to anyone in the community.

One caveat: Please be sure to check occasionally that your pet’s microchip is up to date. When you visit your vet for routine shots or checkups, it’s a great time to make sure the contact information on the chip is accurate and reflects any changes.